Why test your backups

Posted by Blog Tipster

Aug 14, 2013 10:35:00 AM


If your business has put a lot of time, money, and resources into backing up and securing your data, you have taken fantastic first steps.  However, are you very confident that it will work?  Would you be comfortable enough to clear your hard drive and restore them from your backup?  Even if you believe you have the best backup system you will not know it works unless you actually test it.  There are many potential areas for  mistakes, that may not be noticed unless you run a test.  Please see below for some of those potential mistakes. 

Incomplete data:  Are you sure that your backup is storing all of the information that you will need if your server crashes or another type of disaster happens?  You need to test to be sure your backup has information that everyone will need to be able to continue business.

Wrong software:  If you are using tape, and you go to load a tape you realize it will not work because you are using a tape that is not compatible with the software which you recently switched to, what will you do?

The backup copy was corrupt: You should  regularly test your backups, especially if you are using tapes that you have had for a long time.  A lot of companies do not test their tape backups, and those that do often find some of their tapes may have some  error.

Do not remember password:  Since it is in best practice to never write passwords down, what will happen when you cannot remember your encryption password?  Perhaps the person in charge of setting up the password quit months ago, and forgot to give someone else the password, and at this point they don’t  remember anymore.   It does not get more frustrating than having the information, but not being able to access it because you do not have the password for everything.

Only created one backup: What happens when your tapes or external hard drive have been lost, and you now need to recover data that same day?  If you do not have a backup set of data, you could encounter a lot of problems.

Testing your backups is critical!  There are better options than tape that will avoid some  of the testing options above.  No matter what though, you need to be testing your backup solution to avoid finding out the flaws at a more critical time.  

Topics: backup solutions

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